Wednesday, February 13, 2019

You (yes! You!)

***Spoilers Ahead***

Have you watched "You" available now on Netflix?  It stars Penn Badgley of "Gossip Girl" fame and begs the question:  "What would you do for love?"  For a brilliant male bookstore manager (Badgley) who crosses paths with an aspiring female writer named Beck, this question is put to the test. A charming yet awkward crush becomes something even more sinister when the writer becomes the manager's obsession. Using social media and the internet, he uses every tool at his disposal to become close to her, even going so far as to remove any obstacle --including people -- that stands in his way of getting to her. 

"You" originally aired on Lifetime in September 2018 and on Netflix in December 2018 internationally and is based off the 2014 novel by Caroline Kepnes.  Lifetime announced that "You" had been renewed for a second season based on Kepnes' follow-up novel Hidden Bodies, on July 26, 2018, ahead of the series premiere. On December 3, 2018, it was announced that the series would move to Netflix as a "Netflix Original" title, ahead of the premiere of the second season.

There are 10 episodes in season one and I love the way the series is filmed with Badgley providing running commentary.  As a mom of two daughters I am constantly on my kids about over-sharing and internet safety and keeping the damn mini-blinds closed!  I have a 24-year old and a 19-year old and every week I remind them about being aware of their surroundings, letting some one know where you are, who you're with, where you're going next, etc.  As the series progesses and the storyline develops, it's easy to see how Joe keeps tabs on Beck and how Beck puts the pieces together when she finally starts to have doubts about Joe.  These two use Google, Facebook and Instagram like nobody's business. 

Badgley is convincingly creepy good as Joe.  He's the kind, thoughtful, good-looking boyfriend every girl would love to date.  But I just couldn't stand the portrayal of Beck by Elizabeth Lail.  What a dipshit.  Seriously.  Beck has serious daddy issues and I just can't believe her Spidey senses weren't exploding.  Hell, her Spidey senses were barely even tingling.  All she worried about was getting laid on the Staten Island Ferry.  Her boyfriend (Benji) conveniently "disappears" and ghosts everyone he knows but is somehow posting stuff as if he was on vacation.  Where the hell are his parents, anyway?  Then, she discovers that Joe's former love interest, Candace, has also "disappeared."  And Candace's side piece, her music manager, mysteriously dies.  And Candace's brother (who is in a mental institution) dies.  Oh!  And let's not forget Beck's best friend, Peaches (played by Pretty Little Liars alum, Shay Mitchell).  And then, the abusive alcoholic boyfriend of the single mom who lives next door to Joe dies a violent death. 

Ethan is one of Joe's co-workers at the bookstore who is eternally optimistic about love and life.  And at first I really liked Ethan's character.  Then I got really aggravated with Ethan.  C'mon Ethan.  You know something "dark" happened between Joe and Candace and you know old man Mooney is definitely not asking any questions about payroll or any other day-to-day operations of the bookstore.  And, you work at the bookstore but never ever go down to the storage area in the basement??? 

Which brings me to my disappointment in Paco.  Paco is Joe's young next door neighbor with an addict mom who has an abusive boyfriend.  Paco gets supplies to eliminate Benji's body (rope, fertilizer, etc).  And Paco knows that Joe killed the mom's boyfriend.  And, Paco literally slams the door on Beck's face as she's frantically fighting for her life to get out of the basement.  I understand Joe's been the only one in Paco's corner and Paco idolizes him, but I'm glad Paco and his mom moved out of state.  I think he could have easily been a psychopath in the making.  However, season two hints that Joe may be relocating to California. Isn't that where Paco and his mom are headed???

And now on to the best part of the whole series . . . . Mr. John Stamos! 

Stamos plays "Dr. Nicky," Beck's good-looking, weed-smoking therapist.  Joe gets jealous of their relationship and starts therapy sessions with Dr. Nicky to get some intel on Beck.  Turns out Joe had plenty to be jealous of as Beck is definitely doing the horizontal hula with Dr. Nicky.  When Beck finally discovers what Joe's been up to these last couple of months and he locks her up in the basement, they conspire to place the blame squarely on Dr. Nicky's shoulders.  We are left to believe that Joe kills Beck as the series ends with a slo-mo montage of a body in a blue tarp being dug up, Dr. Nicky being carted off by the police with blue lights blaring and mild-mannered book store manager Joe just going about his daily business sweeping up the store, etc. 

Except I don't think Beck is dead.  While he's keeping her in the basement he clearly tells her, "Beck.  You're not listening to me.  I would never hurt anyone I loved."  From what we've seen, this appears to be true.  He hated her boyfriend Benji, he hated her friend Peaches, he hated Ron the abusive parole officer, he hated Candance's side piece.  However, he loved Candace (who shows up on Joe's doorstep in the closing scene), he cared for Karen (the rebound girlfriend after Beck broke up with him), he cared for Paco and his mother and he obviously "loved" Beck. 

While we're all anxiously awaiting Season 2, I read some tidbits about what we can expect:
  • We know that Penn Badgley is going to return in the lead role of Joe Goldberg, but as of yet it’s unconfirmed whether any other characters we saw in the first season will join him. However given the body count of the first ten episodes, it’s likely that new characters will be brought in for the next season.
  • It’s currently up in the air whether John Stamos will reappear as therapist Dr. Nicky. Last we saw Nicky was in prison, after being framed for several of Goldberg’s murders, but while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Sera Gamble has expressed interest in him returning: “It’s too soon to say definitely whether John Stamos will return in season two but we have been talking a lot about the character and we’re excited to keep telling that story.”
  • Netflix has confirmed that Victoria Pedretti (who played Nell in The Haunting of Hill House) will appear in season two of You as the female lead. She’ll play a character called Love Quinn, who’s an aspiring chef. 
  • Deadline has reported that the second season of the show will follow bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) “as his search for love takes him to Hollywood where dreams can be made or shattered." 
  • Gamble also revealed that loose ends from Goldberg’s past could return: “Without giving away too much, Joe thinks he’s gone out there by himself [Laughs]. So we can say that with like an ellipsis at the end of the sentence. He’s definitely trying to make a little bit of a left turn in his life. But you know, it’s really fun when a character makes plans right ’cause then you can just go blow them all.” Gamble went on to explain that there’ll be an aspect of Goldberg outrunning his past in his trip to LA, saying: “There’s an aspect of trying to outrun his past and also trying to stop and fix some things and seek some different things for his future.”  Gamble elaborated on this, saying: “If you look at every act of violence that he does in season one, that is potentially something that could come back and bite him.” Gamble added: “Part of the fun of continuing the story is that the loose ends from Joe’s past are still dangling and could come back to him at anytime. He is very worried about the fact that Peach Salinger’s family has hired people to investigate her alleged suicide, and there is evidence potentially still at her house from season one.
  • Gamble has also told The Hollywood Reporter that Joe’s past, and in particular the abuse he received from mentor Mr. Mooney, will be further explored in the next season: “Joe was taken in by a guy who had a certain type of life philosophy that really did rub off on Joe. Joe was already a teenager by the time he even met Mr. Mooney. There’s a lot more to explore about Joe from earlier in his life. Those are the things we’re starting to get into for season two.”
  • So what is the deal with Mr. Mooney?  Joe’s mentor is presented as something of a hard-edged, overwhelmingly strict, and even abusive foster father. While it’s heavily hinted that this upbringing had a huge effect on how Joe himself sees the world (and acts out his fantasies), a second season could shed more light on that upbringing itself, and maybe even what caused Mooney himself to become so vicious. 
  • Let's talk about Candace.  Joe’s ex-girlfriend Candace (Ambyr Childers) appeared in his bookstore and tells him they have unfinished business, so we can expect to find out more of what happened between them.  Throughout the season it was heavily implied that she is dead (and most likely killed by Joe, when he found out she was having an affair with her record producer), but her arrival in the dying seconds of season one was a wild deviation from the source material, and a total heel-turn for the narrative.
  • Throughout the first season Joe maintained that Candace was in Italy, showing her Instagram account to Beck to convince her she was alive; but given the season finale this may not be true.Was she supposed to be dead? Did she really go to Italy all along? Does she know what Joe did, and is continuing to do?
  • Is that piss pot gonna cause a problem?  The private investigator hired to investigate Peach’s death revealed to Dan towards the end of season one that they had found a jar of the suspect’s urine at the site, and were having it DNA tested. Unlike most of the situations Joe got himself in in season one, there’s little he can do to wrap this one up – the pot’s already been bagged as evidence. How will he get out of this one? Pissing in a jar in someone’s house is more than a little suspicious, let alone the day before they die…
  • Are Beck’s remaining friends not suspicious?  Look, it’s fairly clear that they’re a bit… slow on the uptake.  They are self-absorbed and a little more than slightly pretentious but there’s gotta be at least an inkling of suspicion surrounding Joe.  Joe, who entered their friendship group shortly before the death of two of their closest friends?  And, as far as we’re shown, they all seem a little unfazed by the whole thing?  It’ll be interesting to see whether season two brings up any more suspicion amongst the remaining members of Beck’s friendship group.
The first season of You left plenty of threads hanging – and that's exactly what we want from a second run.



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Blondes having more fun???

Being a Bachelor novice, I had no idea there was a thing referred to as the "Blond-Out."  It usually occurs halfway through each season of The Bachelor, when the fun goes away and things get serious. At the beginning, there are almost 30 women and the Bachelor must pretend interest in all of them while going on goofy dates and trying to stir up drama. By the end, there are only a handful of women left standing and the Bachelor struggles to give each meaningful time as he decides on who he wants to wife-up.   

It's called the "Blond-Out" because at the beginning the Bachelor acts like he’s looking for love with women of all races, creeds and hair color.   By the end, all pretensions have faded away; the Bachelor has looked deep within his soul and has realized that he just wants to pick the girls he’s most attracted to.  Which is OK and I'm not sure why everyone's dogging Colton on this.  He's attracted to Blondes.  So what?  That's usually how relationships start.  With attraction.  You're attracted to someone for some reason.  It may be their height, it might be you find their sense of humor attractive.  You might find something attractive about their physique.  You might find their mind attractive.  It's that first spark.  And if Colton's not attracted to Sydney (who was a bit of a downer) or Nicole because she lacks self-confidence or Oneka (spelling?) because she caused some drama, is it really his fault?  Would it be OK if he was only attracted to red-haired, one-eyed, left-handed girls under 5 ft tall? 

There appears to be some confusion as to whether this season is to be considered a "Total Blond-Out" given the fact that Tayshia has blond highlights and is full-on blond in her Instagram avi.  But, for all intents and purposes, let's just rule her a non-blond (let's just agree to consider women with brunette hair who have gone ombre as blond. For example, Kirpa has natural black hair but has dyed it primarily blond). 

Only one blond woman was eliminated this week, and it was the one all of Twitterverse was divided on.  Demi.  Cute, little Demi from Texas.  Demi with the convict mom.  Aggressive Demi.  Yes folks, Demi is gone.  Felled by either her own hubris or Colton’s inability to see greatness. I'm thinking it was the former.  That girl was bound and determined to take Colton's V-card. 

Demi didn’t get into any hijinks this week or make any snarky comments about the ages of the other contestants (because let's face it.  All the old ladies were gone already.  It was past their bed time).  She let Colton talk to her newly-released-from-prison-mom on the phone (which was weird but sweet.  She clearly loves her mom).  Demi then later told Colton she was “falling in love” with him. While some folks are blasting Colton for his reaction to this, I think it was smart to let her know they were not on the same page.  So he immediately sent her home (which kinda stinks because it's a long flight home from Vietnam and she left in the middle of the night during a thunder storm).   

Many have said that Colton’s getting the formula of this Bachelor thing wrong. He’s supposed to eliminate women as he gets closer to finding the person he wants to propose to. What formula?  Maybe some of these viewers have watched one too many seasons and have become jaded?  Maybe I'm looking at this with fresh eyes? 

In back-to-back weeks, Colton is the one who has gotten dumped rather than doing the dumping.  Last week, Elyse left Colton because she felt she wasn’t getting enough one-on-one time after a strong start.  Sydney left because, among other things, she felt Colton was making “easy choices” instead of picking women who were actually interested in getting married to him.  My only issue with Sydney is that rather than take the high road and wish everyone well, she decided to label the remaining contestants as "shiny objects."  I thought that was a bit much coming from a Knicks dancer.  To me, it came across as Sydney was a bit jealous that she didn't have that spark (or sparkle) to capture Colton's eye.  Which is ironic considering she's a dancer for the NBA.  Doesn't she have to have some spark on the court???

According to Wikipedia’s Bachelor season summaries, 11 women voluntarily left the show over the course of the last 10 seasons. Usually one woman leaves per season but Colton's already lost two. But going even deeper, the timing is worrisome. Like Colton, Ben Higgins lost two women on his season, but they both left by Week 3. Six of the 11 self-inflicted departures came in the first three weeks.

I get it.  A woman auditions for the show for whatever reason, gets cast, gives it a shot, and then realizes they hate cameras, would rather be with their family/friends/dog, and goes home. Or, if they are like me, they would have tapped out the minute they heard they were going to Singapore and Vietnam.  The humidity would have killed me.  No lie.  My hair would have been a hot mess, my make-up would have slid right off my face and the boob sweat would not have been pretty.  If the producers handed me a ticket to Singapore, I would have instanteously replied, "Yeah.  No thanks.  That's not gonna happen.  Good luck Colton!" 

Colton has lost women in Weeks 5 and 6—well over a month into his relationships with them, over halfway through the season. Only one Bachelor has lost a contestant after Week 6, as Colton did—Juan Pablo, who was ditched by Sharleen and Andi within the final four episodes. From what I've heard, Juan Pablo is considered The Worst Bachelor. With capital letters just like that. 

These girls are not only dumping Colton, they are messing with his head.  When Sydney walked off, she told Colton that he might be in trouble because some of the remaining women were “not ready” for marriage. Colton explained to the camera that he thought she meant Demi, so then he went and dumped Demi. But then Demi told Colton the same thing as she was leaving.  And then after eliminating Katie in the rose ceremony (who came out of NO WHERE this week!  I swear to God, I had never seen that girl before last night!!!), she said the same thing. Colton is now officially flabbergasted and sputtering “Am I fucking missing something?” to the camera as he tries to figure out who the unready one is.

I'm guessing Hannah B is one of the ones "not ready" for marriage.  I also think Heather (who has now been kissed) is the next to go home.  She doesn't bring anything to this relationship.  Hannah B started out by forgetting how to use her big girl words by turning a simple toast into a minute-long self-destruction which ended with a #RollTide. Since then, she has learned that she’s quite capable of communicating nonverbally. She has beaten up several opponents (all during sanctioned fights, don’t worry) and now it’s become clear that her favorite form of communication is unhinging her jaw and emitting a whispery shriek, like a wild animal. She refers to it as the Hannah Beast.

In other, exciting news, Colton and my girl Hannah G went on a spa date where they were wrapped up in large leaves which caused Colton to make the awkward joke "I'd eat that sushi."  Hannah's doing great.  She's made herself noticed, in a good way, and is staying out of the drama.  I've said it before but I'm really proud of the way she's handling herself.  She's not desperate or showy and is just letting this thing evolve.  Good for her! 

The mystery of how Kirpa suddenly showed up last week with an unexplained bandage on chin has been explained.  Nothing nefarious, it turns out she fell while trying to take a selfie.  This is the second time this season that an episode has left an obvious mystery unsolved—the first being whether or not Bri ever told Colton about her fake Australian accent.  I thought she was so cute and would have gone a lot farther than she did!  I guess Bri didn't realize there was a "formula" to this show.  But what do I know? 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Another Female First !!!

2019 has been a great year so far for breaking down barriers and crushing records! 
Coach keeps up with our alma mater's sports team much more than I do and he's been in awe of this student-athlete since she first burst on the scene as a middle-schooler.  The girl has wheels and is definitely going places (in life, not just on the track).  Remember this 16-year old's name:  Katelyn Tuohy.  
She began setting age-group records in the 7th grade, retiring marks set by earlier high school phenom, Mary Cain.  Here are some highlights of Katelyn's incredible career to date: 
  • By the 2019 indoor track season, she had won four Gatorade Player of the Year awards and was the 2018 Track and Field News High School Girls Athlete Of The Year.
  • She first took 32 seconds off the historic Van Cortlandt Park course record, in the Bronx, with 13:21 for the 2 1/2 mile/4 kilometer event.
  • She won the 2017 Nike National cross country championship as a sophomore, to cap an undefeated season. With a 5,000 meter time of 16:44.7, she won by 40 seconds, trimming 12 seconds off the race. The Rockland County legislature honored her victory, declaring December 19, 2017, as "Katelyn Tuohy Day."
  • She became the fastest US outdoor high school 3,200-meter runner of all-time, running 9:47.88.
  • She also set the U.S. national junior (under-20) indoor 5,000-meter record. On January 21, 2018, Tuohy ran 15:37.12 to become the best ever female indoor 5,000-meter high school runner. Her 9:09.71 for 3,000 meters, run in June 2018, is the second fastest U.S. outdoors time ever in the country by a high school girl.
  • On June 17, 2018, at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals Track & Field championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, Tuohy won the mile by over 15 seconds breaking Polly Plumer's 36-year high school outdoor mile record with a 4:33.87.
  • On September 22, 2018, at the Ocean State Invitational, Tuohy ran the fastest American girls cross country 5K ever with a time of 16:06.87, lowering the course record by 88 seconds, and leading her team to victory.  Her time clipped almost 17 seconds from Katie Rainsberger's 2016 best-ever high school girls' standard on any course, running faster than all but one of over 1,000 high school boys running the sandy course, that day.  
  • On October 19, her 16:45.4 broke her own Bowdoin course record, set in 2017 while winning the state federation championship. The next fastest girl ran 19:07.9.
  • On November 23, she won the 5K New York State XC Championship/Nike NY Regionals, in 17:14.0, by over 40 seconds. 
  • On December 1, 2018, despite her missing her state section championship race with knee tendonitis, a few weeks earlier, she repeated as Nike's Cross Nationals Individual Champion. Notwithstanding muddy conditions, she set a new course record time of 16:37.8.
  • On January 26, 2019, finishing third in the 3,000, against seven pros, she broke another high school indoor record with 9:01.81.
  • During her sophomore year in 2017-2018, she won both the Gatorade Female Cross Country Player of the Year award and the Gatorade Female Track & Field Player of the Year award, making her the first athlete ever to capture the award in two sports, then she won the overall Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year award. Her photo was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, that summer. 
  • In October 2018, she was honored as the Track and Field News High School Girls Athlete Of The Year.
  • In 2019, she repeated as the Gatorade female cross country awardee for her undefeated 2018 season.
  • In a move that surprised no one, Gatorade honored junior Tuohy again February 7, 2019 naming her its U.S. high school girls cross-country runner of the year for the second straight year.
  • The 16-year-old repeated this fall as New Balance Cross Nationals girls champion
  • She also broke the national record for a high school girl running a 3.1-mile cross-country race on grass. Her record-setting time was 16:06.87, run at the Ocean State Invitational in Rhode Island.

Amanda Turak, manager of Gatorade's player of the year program, characterized Tuohy as unique due to the "unbelievable amount of passion and humbleness she has."  And Tuohy cited teammates, family, school trainers and coaches for helping her, saying "everyone had been a piece of the puzzle in getting this award."
The Gatorade award is based on achievements, as well as academics and character. Gatorade, which launched the player of the year program in 1985, had previously never awarded more than two player-of-the-year awards to a single individual.
Tuohy grinned when asked about being the first three-time member.  "Making history is definitely something special, so I think it's one of the most, you know, coolest things, I guess you can say, I've ever done," she said. 
Tuohy, who carries an "A" average, was honored in North Rockland High School's library in front of a crowd that included administrators, coaches, multiple members of the boys and girls cross-country and track teams, and her parents, Denise and Patrick, and brother, Ryan, 11.  Her parents smiled when asked about their daughter's growing enormous collection of trophies, medals and other running awards. Her dad noted he has built shelves in her bedroom to house the lion's share.

Tuohy would like the collection to grow. A video was shown of some of her wins and of her intense cross-training (she swims and works out with weights, in addition to running). Tuohy said after seeing the video, "I had little chills going up and down my spine and it makes me want to go out and train harder."
"After getting (the Gatorade award) this cross-country season, I definitely want to work hard this upcoming track season and next cross-country season and hopefully win again," Tuohy said. 
Her spring track coach, Kyle Murphy, who was on hand, said the most surprising thing about Tuohy has been her consistency. He attributed that to her work ethic, adding, "I don't see that stopping."
Currently in the middle of a winter track season that has seen her break the U.S. girls indoor 3,000 standard-track mark, Touhy was also Gatorade’s female high school track & field performer last year.
North Rockland girls cross-country and winter track coach Brian Diglio had worried about how Tuohy would respond this fall to essentially competing against her previous accomplishments.
“Every time she raced she was being compared to her sophomore campaign,” he said. “I was really proud of what she did this year. More than anything else, she showed maturity.”
Diglio pointed to Tuohy winning her second Nike Cross title, saying his and Tuohy’s first reaction to that was “just a big sense of relief.”  “To handle that the way she did, I was super proud,” he said. “It was every bit as hard, if not harder, to win this year.”  Of her undefeated season, he added, “Not only do you need talent and drive but you also need good health and for everything to go in your favor.”
But Tuohy went undefeated despite knee tendinitis that kept her out of the Section 1 Class A Championships. Her team, though, still won the team title to qualify for States, where Tuohy repeated as individual champion.  She said the knee injury was a "little battle mentally and physically." With all the wins and records she accumulated in the fall, Tuohy said she was most proud of how she came back from the injury to win Nationals.
The national spotlight first shown on Tuohy when, as an eighth-grader, she anchored North Rockland’s distance medley relay team to an indoor national title in what was then a national-record time.  But it has shown much brighter in the years since as she has amassed wins and national records.  While she “doesn’t mind the limelight occasionally,” it’s not something she seeks and has nothing to do with why she runs, Diglio indicated.  “Running is still a joy for her. It’s still the favorite part of her day,” he said.  And that will likely remain the case long-term.
In 2018, Tuohy's remarkable potential fostered New York Times speculation on her future. Diglio, who is also her advanced placement U.S. History teacher, has endeavored to keep Tuohy in check while guarding her progress. “My role so far has been to try to put the brakes on, so she doesn’t do too much,” he said. “She has an unbelievable work ethic; I’ve never seen anything like it." He feels her academic diligence is as important as her athletic accomplishments.
Tuohy is taking three AP courses, in physics, computer science, and U.S. history—which is taught by Diglio. “I have him first period, so I can’t come in late for school,” Tuohy deadpans. “That’s a little bit of a bummer.” She tries not to let her homework cut into her sleep, and Tuohy said she gets to bed as soon as it’s done each night.
A shy person, Tuohy has at times found the spotlight to be difficult. But this year she’s handling it better, her coach said. “At times it can get to her, because there is a lot of it, there is a lot of attention,” Diglio said. “She’s really good. She takes pictures with tons of kids, she’ll sign autographs, do the interviews. It’s a lot to ask of a high school kid. “The big change that I’ve seen in her this year really is her maturity,” he continued. “Last year I felt that at times it got overwhelming for her. And this year, that’s barely happened at all. That’s impressed me so much.”

Tuohy agrees. “It’s nice to see people who recognize my success and want to take pictures and everything,” she said. “They always have nice things to say. Sometimes when I’m trying to warm up or mentally prepare (for a race), it’s a little difficult having people come up to me and everything, but it’s all positive.”

Last year, North Rockland was hit hard by snow, and the runners on the team shoveled the track five or six times. Boys and girls, Tuohy with them, and their coach gave them hot chocolate afterward. This year the weather has been milder. But Tuohy’s favorite part of each day and week is still when she’s a regular kid at practice, hanging out with her teammates.

Observers of track know it can be difficult for high school phenoms to keep improving consistently as they move on to college and beyond. Other fast high school girls, like Cain, who signed with Nike after she graduated and never raced for a college team, have had trouble achieving the same level of success they did as teens and suffer from burnout or injuries.
But what alternative is there?
Once a week, Tuohy runs a 10-miler. She usually does it alone on the roads around the school, although if her older brother is home from college, he’ll keep her company. She prefers cross-country season, when she can do her long runs on trails, but it’s always one of her favorite workouts of the week. Her coach says it’s good for her training—and her head.
“She’s a tremendous talent,” Diglio said. “She’d be a tremendous talent if I just had her jog 20 miles a week and still put her out on the track. She’d put up fast times. What are we supposed to do? When she runs a race, tell her, ‘You’ve got to jog; you can’t race?’”   His overriding goal in coaching her, he said, has been her safety and well-being, with the goal of passing her on to college and having her develop further at the NCAA level than she has in high school.
“I also don’t think that there’s a whole lot you can do about it other than trying not to overrace her and trying not to work her out too hard,” Diglio said. “At the same time, she wants to be great. If you have an athlete with a burning desire to be a great athlete, it’s your duty as a coach to try to help them achieve their goals.”
Tuohy wants to run in college and plans to start visiting schools this summer.  Then she'll have one final season of high school cross-country and two of high school track.  "I'm excited to see what comes next," Turak said, echoing the thoughts of many.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

FFF (the Future is Female Follow-up)

If you weren't already nodding off during the incredibly boring Super Bowl, you may have missed a couple of very significant "Female Firsts" during the #NFL100 commercial: 

Samantha "Sam" Gordon, appeared in the NFL's 100th Season Superbowl LIII commercial.  Sam was one of three women in the commercial and the only one without a direct tie to the league.  And if you blinked, you may have missed Official Sarah Thomas and announcer Beth Mowins

So why is Sam Gordon's appearance in the #NFL100 commercial so significant?  Sam, the only female player featured among the NFL greats passing around a golden football during Sunday night's Super Bowl commercial, is the winner of the league’s inaugural Game Changer award.  Let that sink in for a minute.  A 15-year old girl from Salt Lake City is the recipient of the National Football League's Game Changer award. 

Gordon, who turns 16 this month, made history in 2015 when she and her father launched the Utah Girls Tackle Football League – the first of its kind – spurring the creation of similar all-girls leagues in Indiana, Georgia and Canada. 

“I was going to a middle school to give a speech about working hard and I asked the question ‘how many girls here would like to play tackle football?’ And it seemed like almost every hand in the room went up,” Gordon said in a video released by the NFL this past weekend featuring her story. “There’s this many girls at this one middle school, how many are there in Utah? In the entire nation? And the world? And next spring, we had a league up and growing."
The first 50 spots for players is said to have filled up in less than a day, and the league has since grown to include nearly 400 female athletes.

“Sam is a game changer because she is shining a light on football so that girls can feel that ‘I’ve been wrong, I have a seat at the table and I was born with that right,'” her father, Brent, says in the video.

Gordon is now trying to start an all-girls football team at her high school.

Sam (born February 21, 2003) is a running back from the Salt Lake City area whose abilities as a football player gained her acclaim when she was just nine years old.

In 2012, while regularly playing against all-male teams (competing with some players who were up to twice her weight), Gordon compiled 25 touchdowns and 10 extra point conversions on 232 carries for 1,911 rushing yards in a single season, averaging 8.2 yards per carry.  In addition, Gordon recorded 65 tackles for the season while playing defense.    2012 was her first year playing football.

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, Gordon's father uploaded a highlight video to YouTube that by Thursday of that week had generated nearly 5 million views.  His recording of her football prowess has garnered attention from various news outlets, as well as the National Football League.

Gordon has stated that she will continue playing football for one or two more years, then switch over to soccer, where her passion for athletic competition really lies. In the meantime, she has appeared on Good Morning America, tackled Marshall Faulk on the set of the NFL Network, huddled up with the San Francisco 49ers at practice, and gained the attention and praise of U.S. soccer stars Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm. 49ers running back LaMichael James and former NFL player, Super Bowl MVP, and Heisman winner Desmond Howard both jokingly stated that she should win the Heisman Trophy. She was featured on a Wheaties cereal box, the company stating that she was chosen because she is an inspiration to young girls. She is the first female football player to appear on a Wheaties box.  Let that sink in for a minute too. 

Gordon was invited to attend Super Bowl XLVII by the NFL as the guest of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. During the Super Bowl weekend, Gordon was a guest blogger for espnW, performed a skit during the NFL Honors award show with Alec Baldwin, attended the Commissioner's press conference and media day, and watched the game in the Commissioner's suite with high ranking political figures and well-known football personalities. Gordon was also featured in an NFL Evolution commercial that aired during the game.

Following the Super Bowl, Gordon attended the Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards show during which she won a Game trophy for Most Viral Player.

Sam's football story and the experiences she had following the posting of her YouTube highlight video were the inspiration for the NFL's Together We Make Football contest.
Gordon was featured in an NFL commercial that kicked off the contest by asking football fans to share their football stories with the NFL.

With the help of her neighbor, Gordon wrote a book, Sweet Feet: Samantha Gordon's Winning Season, about her football season and the experiences she had following the season, appearing on Conan and Fox and Friends to promote the book.

In 2015, the first known all-girls tackle football league in America, the Utah Girls Tackle Football League, was formed; Gordon was a founding member.

In June 2017, Sam and her father joined together with five other Utah Girls Football League players to sue three different school districts in the Salt Lake City area and force them to offer female American football as a varsity sport. The Title IX-based lawsuit was filed June 23.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Gung Hay Fat Choy


Monday, February 4, 2019

Super Let Down

Raise your hand if you watched the most boring Superbowl in the history of the game.  I'm terribly sorry.  You will never get those couple hours of your life back. 

I, fortunately, did not watch a single second of the game and was reading a great book while the half-time snooze fest was on.  Holy cow. It was painful.  Adam Levine looked like he didn't want to be there and his performance was less than enthusiastic.  Taking his shirt off in a last ditch effort to save the show was ineffective and, frankly, too little, too late.  And Big Boi?  Seriously?   When was the last time Big Boi was relevant?  Was Andre 3000 asked to preform?  Did he foresee what a dumpster fire it was going to be and wisely declined? 

In other, exciting news, I ate a banana this weekend.  Ok.  It wasn't a whole banana, it was just a slice.  If you know me personally or read my blog regularly, you know I can't stand bananas so this is really a big deal.  I've hated them since I was a baby.  My mother said I wouldn't eat them as an infant and have refused to eat them ever since.  I like banana bread.  I like pina coladas in small doses and I could propably have a few bites of banana pudding.  But put an actual piece of banana in my mouth?  Never.  Until Sunday.  Coach and I went for a long walk Sunday morning and stopped at our local smoothie place.  I got my usual Mega Mango and he went for a bowl with strawberry yogurt, granola, banana and peanut butter.  The banana slices were covered in granola and looked pretty good so I asked for a bite.  Of course, Coach had to alert the media.  Ok.  It wasn't the media.  He texted the girls.  Same thing. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Future is Female

Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes.  This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.
Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure access to legal abortions and social integration, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Changes in dress and acceptable physical activity have often been part of feminist movements.

I think feminism means different things to different people.  To me personally, feminism means equality and freedom.  Equal pay, equal rights, equal opportunities, freedom from sexual harassment, freedom from persecution of sexual preferences.  I think feminism is about being what ever you want to be and being supported.  If you want to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist, great!  Go for it!  If are most happiest being a stay at home mom or volunteering at your child's school, wonderful!  Raise those little humans to be great grown-ups!  I think feminism is not questioning someone else's decisions.  I've always said I've been on both side of the working mom/stay-at-home-mom fence (as well as the great "to breast feed or not to breast feed" debate) and one is not easier than the other.  You've got to do what's best for you and for your family.  Women don't need to bash other women and I hope I've instilled that in my girls.  You don't need to put someone else down to raise yourself up. 

So here we are, almost a full month into 2019 and we've had some incredible "firsts" so far this year.  It got me to thinking about where we're headed in sports, in business, life in general.  And how far we still have to go. 
 In case you missed it this month: 

Sarah Thomas  is an American football official from the United States, and is currently an official for the National Football League (NFL). Thomas was the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first to officiate a bowl game, and the first to officiate in a Big Ten stadium. On April 8, 2015, Thomas was hired as the first full-time female official in NFL history,and for the 2018 NFL season, she is on the officiating crew headed by referee Ronald Torbert. She was originally assigned officiating uniform number 153 (as seen in many photos), but currently Thomas is a down judge with the NFL officiating uniform number 53, worn in past seasons by umpire Garth DeFelice, line judge Bill Reynolds, and field judge Frank Kirkland.  
Thomas was born in 1973 in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  She attended Pascagoula High School, where she lettered five times in softball. She attended the University of Mobile on a basketball scholarship and was an academic all-American.

Thomas began her officiating career in 1996, when she attended a meeting of the Gulf Coast Football Officials Association. She worked her first varsity high school game in 1999.

In 2006, Gerry Austin, Conference USA's coordinator of officials and a former NFL official, invited her to an officials' camp. Austin was impressed with her skills and hired her for the Conference USA staff.  In 2007, Thomas became the first woman to officiate a major college football game, working a game between Memphis and Jacksonville State.  Before that game, Austin said, "She came highly recommended by two NFL scouts. She has a good presence and demeanor. I feel like she has the ability and courage to make a call, and the guts to not make one, too."

During the 2009 season, Thomas was one of five female officials in major college football and the only one at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.  She was assigned to a crew and given a full schedule of 11 games. At the end of the season, she was selected to work the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl between Marshall and Ohio, making her the first woman to officiate a bowl game. Regarding her presence, Marshall running back and game MVP Martin Ward said "I noticed her before the game, but that was it. Once the game started, she was just doing the job that the line judge does in every game we play. It didn't matter that she was a woman at all."

On November 12, 2011, Thomas became the first woman to officiate in a Big Ten stadium, working as a line judge when Northwestern hosted Rice.

Thomas has officiated United Football League games, and in 2010 worked the league championship game.

In 2013, Thomas became one of 21 finalists in contention for a permanent NFL officiating position. 

Thomas worked New Orleans Saints scrimmages and was part of the NFL officiating development program, spending three days at the Indianapolis Colts minicamp.

On April 8, 2015, the NFL officially announced that Thomas would become the first permanent female official in NFL history. Thomas made her NFL regular season debut in a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on September 13, 2015, as part of Pete Morelli's crew as the line judge.

In 2017, Thomas moved to the down judge position. The change in the position name from head linesman coincided with the move in order to use a gender-neutral term. 

Thomas is the first woman to earn an on-field assignment for a playoff game. She was named to the crew for the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers on January 13, 2019.  She was an alternate for the 2018 Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams Wild Card game.

NHL 2019 All-Star Competition
The Skills Competition took place the day before the All-Star Game on Friday January 25, 2019 at the SAP Center. The winners of each event were awarded $25,000 in prize money.  The league invited Renata Fast and Rebecca Johnston from the Canadian Women's National Team, and Brianna Decker and Kendall Coyne Schofield from the U.S. Women's National Team, to demonstrate some of the events. After Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche (Central Division) pulled out of the fastest-skater event due to a bruised left foot, Coyne Schofield was named as his replacement, becoming the first woman to compete in the All-Stars skills competition.
Brianna Decker demonstrated the premier passer skill, but she was not part of the competition. She was, in fact, three seconds faster than Leon Draisaitl and would have won had her time been included as they did with Kendall Coyne Schofield.  This prompted the hashtag #PayDecker on Twitter, as women's hockey salaries are a fraction of men's hockey salaries.  On January 26, hockey equipment company CCM announced they would give Decker the $25,000 she would have received for winning the competition.

Super Bowl LIII
History will be made Sunday night at Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta, but it will happen on the sidelines, not on the field.

That's where you'll spot Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams. 
Peron and Jinnies will be the first male cheerleaders at the Super Bowl in NFL history, cheering for the Rams alongside their female counterparts. The men already made history at the start of this season when they -- along with dancer Jesse Hernandez of the New Orleans Saints' cheerleading squad -- became the first male cheerleaders in league history.
In a tweet last week after his Rams secured a spot in the big game, Peron sent out a shout out to his squadmate:  "Napoleon, you think Atlanta is ready for us?" Peron tweeted. "NAHHHHHH. We're going to the Super Bowl!"
The men, both dancers, made the Rams cheerleading squad back in March. Jinnies called making the team a "humbling and amazing" experience. Peron said there wasn't a good reason for him not to try out for the squad.
"I was at (an L.A.) Lakers game (right before making the team) and I was watching the Laker Girls," Peron told "Good Morning America" last summer, "and I was asking myself, 'Why can't I be down there?' I've choreographed for girls who dance on pro teams, I've danced with girls on various pro teams. I just thought, 'why not me?'"
Other teams, like the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens, have had stuntmen before, USA Today reported, but Peron and Jinnies danced alongside their female teammates and did the same moves during the season.
Peron and Jinnies' success inspired 25-year-old Jesse Hernandez to try out for the New Orleans Saints' Saintsations cheerleading team.
He told CNN affiliate KATC that his mom sent him a link with their story.  "She told me it was my time to shine," he said in a video posted before his final audition.

And then we have this bullshit.  Which, sadly, is not the first time this has happened nor will it be the last. 

The Bachelor
Caelyn, who is competing for Colton Underwood’s heart on season 23 of The Bachelor, was sexually assaulted during her sophomore year at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The 23-year-old Miss North Carolina USA opened up to Underwood, 27, about the incident during last night's episode. 
“It’s definitely the most difficult thing in the world,” a teary Miller-Keyes says to the former NFL player in a teaser for Monday’s episode. “It’s affected every single person in my life.”

After she was raped in college four years ago, “my life was flipped upside down,” Miller Keyes tells PEOPLE. “And even though I’ve moved on, it is something I will struggle with forever.”

A girlfriend at the get-together, who had not been drugged, alleged that one of the men had had sex with her while she was lying unconscious in the bed. In addition, before the alleged assault, Miller-Keyes says that a friend alleged that  “another guy, I was passed out on a couch from the drugs, and … in front of his fraternity brothers … lifted up my dress, they watched and laughed and took photos and Snapchats. It was horrible,” she told Underwood on The Bachelor.

“These situations happen when you’re safe,” she tells PEOPLE. “They don’t necessarily happen when you’re walking down a dark alley. It’s when you’re comfortable and when you let your guard down.”

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